The weekend is almost over! They sure do fly by in our old age.
I've really been struggling with the weight loss. Don't get me wrong, I'm halfway through my fourth month and I've lost 37 lbs in that short time...but now, as of yesterday, I've officiallly plateaued. That's three weeks with my weight being the same. All is not lost and this is not as discouraging as it seems. How you ask?? It's pretty simple.
I'm going to go backwards a lot here and fill you in on my journey so far. This is a lot different from things like Atkins and South Beach but more similar to Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. I'm not getting down with some crazy thing where I can't eat this or that. I also have no interest in going to meetings virtual or otherwise...I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a chronic over-eater. I make healthy choices when I eat, I LOVE veggies and can't stand most fast food. Cheesecake is my one weakness and even then, I just avoid it and only order on those rare occasions we eat out.
My real problem is I gained a lot of weight years ago when my thyroid quit once and for all, and the medication helped take a little bit of that off and I had no idea how to get more gone other than what always worked in the past...exercise. I did that and it didn't help. But in doing that, I started logging my food intake and discovered I'm a chronic under-eater. I don't eat all day and then eat one HUGE meal at the end of the day. While generally healthy - it wasn't enough to cover laying there blinking and breathing forget fueling my crazy life. I struggled to eat during the day because I really had no idea what I should be eating and when. Balancing out those carbs and proteins?? Saywhaaaa??
Some of the things that really drew me to THIS program versus most of the others was it being based on complete nutrition and the fact that when I signed up - Diabetes was hanging over my head. (high weight plus not eating = pre-diabetes and type 2) My insurance dropped my old doctor and my new doctor express concerns, serious concerns about my blood sugar levels. Well I knew Nutrisystem (NS) works for weight loss but I also knew they had a program strictly for Diabetic Diet management! I chose it because I could switch over if that was what was needed. I didn't even wait for my scheduled tests, I just went for it.
It wasn't needed but it was clear that if I didn't lose weight - it would be! The way the program works is you order a month of ready made food (shelf stable and/or frozen if you want to pony up the cash for the frozen) and then you add in some of your own fresh foods. About 2/3 of the food you eat is what you order from them. The other 1/3 is food you buy. They make a nice complete list of which foods are classified by their own nifty and easy to remember categories. Power Fuels (PF) are proteins with healthy fats (chicken, fish, low fat dairy), Smart Carbs (SC) are all carbs that are processed by the body in your Lower GI tract (generally referred to by the Nutrition world as Lower GI carbs), like fruits, whole grains, starchy veggies. Of course, you can't forget those unlimited veggies! Since I joined they've reorganized the program a little bit but it's definitely an improvement. Now they have a variety of programs based on your height, your body type, and your activity level. One set of plans for men and a different set of plans for women.
I'm on the 1800 calorie plan and it's so straightforward it's insane. I eat my NS breakfast, then pick a PF and a SC. Then it's snack time and it's another PF+SC. Lunch same as breakfast, my NS lunch and then PF+SC and then it's afternoon snack and another PF+SC and dinner rolls around and it's my NS dinner with a PF+SC. Finally, at the end of the day, it's dessert. The only meal I'm not adding more food to and the one I'm mostly likely to forget to eat. Oh and let's not forget the 4-6 servings of vegetables I'm eating or the 80+ oz of water I'm drinking. No more sugar has meant I'm suddenly very thirsty. That's right, I have literally spent the last few months, eating my way out of my obesity problem.
Now comes the fun part, it's not typical but it still amazes me all the same. As I've mentioned before we live on an avocado farm and run a palm tree nursery. Since I started the program I log all my food and all my activity. Working, working out, cleaning, everything. If I ate it, drank it, did it, I logged it. Did you know that picking avocados all day burns almost 1800 calories?? Yah, I didn't either. I totally freaked out and immediately called NS to find WTF am I am supposed to do with this? I know from my program materials that a woman's body requires 1200-1500 NET calories a day. (that's what you've eaten minus what you've burned...because remember burning fat requires calories and so does just basic bodily functions). The counselor puts me on hold and checks in with the staff dietician....No worries, on those days when my work is super intensely physical - just double up those PF+SC add-ins during the day so I get the extra calories I need and I'm not burning calories I don't have. The key there is making sure those extra calories I am adding are all nutritious. Kind of goes against everything we've always been taught though. Eat less than you burn and burn more than you eat. Apparently, that forgot to take into account what the body needs for it's most basic functions.
I kept right on losing. It was like eating a thanksgiving meal five times a day but the weight kept coming off. I'm working out...New Year's rolled around and I'm thinking I should take up running. Gave it a shot but I need to lose more weight or I'll end up injuring myself...that's fine, I just put it off but it's there waiting for me to get to under 200 before I try again. It's sooo close I can almost taste it. Little more than 20 lbs away. Right. There.
That's brings you up to NOW. I had to delay my shipment of food staring back in November because this stuff is NOT cheap. I'm not just buying food, I'm also paying for the counseling and website support (and I've definitely made use of both so I'm getting my money's worth). No worries though, Walmart sells 5 day trial boxes of NS food, and I really enjoy those. I'm totally BFF's with my spice rack, I've taken advantage of the add-ins to keep those same five entrees four times a day from getting boring. They really have not gotten boring at all. In fact, they've been so NOT boring I forgot that I'm eating the same things day in and day out and that is the #1 cause for a weight loss plateau.
FACE PALM! No worries though. NS is based on some solid nutrition principles, the website has a ton of recipes, and while I've delayed my regular order, that delay will be ending soon. Just waiting for tax returns to come in and then it's on. I've adjusted the order to NOT include anything in the five day boxes and until I get that box, I'm on my own with the recipes I already have begun to collect in anticipation of that day when I transition from weight loss to weight maintenance. So, for the next few weeks, I'll be posting my usual food pix but they will NOT be including actual NS food . Going forward all dishes that include NS food - will also be noted and include pictures of the NS food.
So why keep ordering if I can really do this on my own? Convenience. I do advance prep with the fresh foods, make use of frozen foods and it's so easy and quick to just nuke my NS meal, heat up my add-ins and BAM! just eat and GO. Going it on my own means cooking entire meals, dividing up the portions, storing them, etc etc. That's a huge time suck - however, if I'm going to shake the plateau, I need to immediately shake it up. I could just switch around a few meals eat dinner for breakfast or something and see if that helps but I suspect it's my limited selections that are the real problem, so I'm going to let my own impatience run wild and be aggressive in shaking up the eating routine.
Because I am that darned good. Sorry no pictures today. I was genuinely hungry this morning and couldn't wait to eat. I did have ONE pancake (made with almond milk) (counting that as my NS entree substitute) and a one-egg omelet (PF) with tri colored peppers and onion (veg) with just a pinch of cheese (extra) and a piece of whole wheat toast. I never did put syrup on my pancakes so I totally don't miss not having it, and I have always preferred my toast dry. It's almost snack time, i happen to have some brown rice fixed and in fridge, I also found some seaweed sushi wraps and I'm about to mix up some tuna to make a home made sushi roll (the wrap directions included an alternative method for making the roll for those who are not that highly skilled). PF+SC+VEG
BAM! I got this.